Higher Degree by Research Candidate
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Sciences
Yu Chinn Joshua Chey is a molecular biologist and higher degree by research candidate. He is currently undertaking an MPhil by research in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Adelaide.
Joshua is passionate about the biology and etiology of presently incurable diseases. His current research project aims to elucidate the roles of the Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) in the development and progression of Multiple Myeloma (MM).
Sn'HIF'fing out roles for HIFs in Multiple Myeloma
Joshua's MPhil project is in the areas of hypoxia (state of low oxygen levels) and blood cancer biology. Cellular responses to hypoxia are primarily mediated by the HIFs, which play important roles in both normal physiology and in disease, such as in cancer, infarction and inflammation. While hypoxia is widely recognised as a hallmark of solid tumours, its role in the pathology of liquid tumours is less well understood.
MM is the second most common blood cancer, an incurable haematological malignancy of bone marrow plasma cells that manifests as combination of clinical symptoms known mnemonically as CRAB: hyperCalcaemia, Renal failure, Anaemia, and Bone lesions. As the bone marrow microenvironment is physiologically hypoxic, HIF activation is likely to to contribute to the unfavourable biology of MM through the induction of angiogenesis, metastasis, osteolysis and cell survival.
Using cutting-edge CRIPSR/Cas9 technology, Joshua aims to elucidate HIF's roles in MM pathology to strengthen the rationale for the development of MM therapies that target the hypoxic bone marrow niche and for the repurposing of HIF-inhibitors.
In addition to his interests in MM hypoxia, Joshua is also interested in the study of HIF pathway components in both normal and disease biology. He is actively involved in side projects pertinent to the study of Factor Inhibiting HIF (FIH) as a novel regulator of metabolism and the study of HIFs in retinal metabolism.
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2018 Award Most Outstanding Student Poster: Runner Up Australia and New Zeland Society for Cell and Developmental Biology Inc. Australia — 2017 Scholarship Master of Philosophy (No Honours) International Scholarship 2017 The University of Adelaide Australia — 2017 Award The RA Fisher Prize for Genetics II 2016 The University of Adelaide Australia — 2015 Scholarship Adelaide Summer Research Scholarship 2015 The University of Adelaide Australia — 2014 Award Outstanding Academic Achievement Award 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 The University of Adelaide Australia —
Language Competency English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review Malay Can read, write, speak and understand spoken
Date Institution name Country Title 2017 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia Master of Philosophy 2014 - 2017 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science)
Year Citation 2018 Sim, J., Cowburn, A., Palazon, A., Madhu, B., Tyrakis, P., Macias, D., . . . Johnson, R. (2018). The FIH (Factor Inhibiting HIF) asparaginyl hydroxylase regulates oxidative metabolism and accelerates metabolic adaptation to hypoxia. Cell Metabolism, 27(4), 898-913.
DOI Scopus13 WoS12 Europe PMC7
Joshua is involved in peer-to-peer teaching, with a focus on encouraging critical and independent thinking, as well as project ownership. In the lab, he mentors placement students and summer research students. He also demonstrates for Biochemistry (Cancer, Stem Cell and Development) practicals.
Date Role Membership Country 2018 - 2021 Member Australia and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology Australia 2017 - ongoing Member Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Australia
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